Weapons fig­ure out of step

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - FEATURES -

Young peo­ple in Aberdeen­shire are al­most 10 times more likely to take a weapon to school than their peers from the High­lands. Could this re­ally be true? Com­mon sense would sug­gest oth­er­wise. Are one coun­cil’s of­fi­cials just 10 times more ef­fi­cient at sniff­ing out il­licit knives, BB guns and saws then? Prob­a­bly not. Or an­other ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­ity equally ahead when it comes to cre­at­ing an at­mos­phere of fear about en­ter­ing the class­room tooled up? Again, pretty un­likely. The an­swer most likely lies some­where in be­tween – and un­der­stand­ing why the north’s fig­ures are so out of step with those of their neigh­bours is very im­por­tant. Tougher con­trols in­tro­duced in the af­ter­math of Bai­ley Gwynne be­ing stabbed to death in a play­ground dis­pute were uni­ver­sally wel­comed. What point though in hav­ing a “zero tol­er­ance” ap­proach if the def­i­ni­tion of “zero” is dif­fer­ent de­pend­ing where you go to school. There are valu­able lessons to be learned on all sides. Coun­cils owe it to pupils, par­ents and to so­ci­ety to make sure they are.

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